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Design Flows. Reading: Applied Hydrology, Sec 15-1 to 15-5. Hydrologic design. For water control Mitigation of adverse effects of high flows or floods Design flows for conveyance structures (storm sewers, drainage channels) and regulation structures (detention basins, reservoirs)

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Design flows

Design Flows

Reading: Applied Hydrology, Sec 15-1 to 15-5

Hydrologic design
Hydrologic design

  • For water control

    • Mitigation of adverse effects of high flows or floods

    • Design flows for conveyance structures (storm sewers, drainage channels) and regulation structures (detention basins, reservoirs)

  • For water use

    • Management of water resources to meet human needs and conservation of natural life

    • Determination of storage capacity

Design flow computations
Design flow computations

  • Methods

    • Rational method

    • Modified Rational Method

    • SCS-TR55 Method

Rational method
Rational Method

  • Used to find peak flows for storm sewers

    • If a rainfall of i intensity begins instantly and continues indefinitely, the rate of runoff will increase until the time of concentration (tc).

  • Assumptions

    • Peak runoff rate at the outlet is a function of the average rainfall rate during tc (peak runoff does not result from a more intense storm of shorter duration during which only a portion of the watershed is contributing to the runoff)

    • tc employed is the time for runoff to flow from the farthest point in the watershed to the inflow point of the sewer being designed

    • Rainfall intensity is constant throughout the storm duration

Rational formula
Rational Formula

  • The rational formula is given by:

Q = peak discharge in cfs which occurs at tc

i = rainfall intensity in in/hr (duration used to compute i = tc)

A = watershed area in acres

C = runoff coefficient (0 ≤C ≤ 1)

An urban area consisting of sub-areas with different surface characteristics

Composite rational equation

j = number of sub-catchments drained by a sewer

Runoff coefficient c
Runoff Coefficient C

  • C is the most difficult variable to accurately determine in the rational method

  • The fraction of rainfall that will produce peak flow depends on:

    • Impervious cover

    • Slope

    • Surface detention

    • Interception

    • Infiltration

    • Antecedent moisture conditions

Rainfall intensity i
Rainfall intensity i

  • i: rainfall rate in in/hr

  • i is selected based on rainfall duration and return period

    • duration is equal to the time of concentration, tc

    • return period varies depending on design standards

  • tc = sum of inlet time (to) and flow time (tf) in the upstream sewers connected to the outlet

Li is the length of the ith pipe along the flow path and Vi is the flow velocity in the pipe.

Pipe capacity for storm sewers
Pipe capacity for storm sewers

  • Assumption: pipe is flowing full under gravity

  • Manning or Darcy-Weisbach equation is applicable

Manning’s equation

Valid for Q in cfs and D in feet. For SI units (Q in m3/s and D in m), replace 2.16 with 3.21.


Equation is valid for both SI and English system as long as the units are consistent

Example 15 1 1
Example 15.1.1

  • Given Td =10 min, C = 0.6, ground elevations at the pipe ends (498.43 and 495.55 ft), length = 450 ft, Manning n = 0.015, i=120T0.175/(Td + 27), compute flow, pipe diameter and flow time in the pipe

Example with composite c
Example with composite C


Compute tc and peak flow at D for i = 3.2 in/hr





Compute tc for AB and BC using Kirpich formula in the text (Table 15.1.2)

For CD, compute velocity by Manning’s equation and tc = length/velocity

Modified rational method
Modified rational method

  • Extension of rational method for rainfalls lasting longer than the time of concentration

  • Can be used to develop hydrographs for storage design, rather than just flood peaks

  • Can be used for the preliminary design of detention storage for watersheds up to 20 or 30 acres

Modified rational method equation
Modified rational method equation

  • The hydrograph produced by modified rational method is a trapezoid with duration of rising and falling limb equal to tc.

  • Hydrograph for a basin with tc = 10 min and rainfall duration = 30 min will look like the following:

Td = 30 min





Application of modified rational method
Application of modified rational method

  • Determine the critical duration (Td) and volume (Vs) for the design storm that will require maximum storage under future developed conditions

QA (cfs) is pre-development peak discharge, A is watershed area (acres), C is runoff coefficient, Tp = tc (min), and Td is in min

Qp is the future peak discharge associated with Td

Ex 15 4 1
Ex. 15.4.1

  • Rainfall-intensity-duration equation is given as i=96.6/(Td+13.9), compute Td for a 25 acre watershed with C = 0.825. The allowable pre-development discharge is 18 cfs, and tc for pre- and post-development are 40 and 20 min, respectively.

A = 96.6, b = 13.9, QA = 18 cfs, Tp = 20 min, A = 25 acre, C = 0.825

Td = 27.23 min

Ex 15 4 2
Ex. 15.4.2

  • Determine the maximum detention storage if g = 2

Detention storage is given by,

The volume of runoff after development = Qp*Td = 79, 140 ft3. Therefore, 53746/79140 = 68% of runoff will be stored in the proposed detention pond.

Esinet emergency services internet network
ESInet – Emergency Services Internet Network

Next Generation 911

Geographic location by coordinates

Slide from: John BrosowskyProduct Development Director, GeoComm

Water web services hub for capcog
Water Web Services Hub for CAPCOG






Tropical storm hermine sept 7 8 2010
Tropical Storm Hermine, Sept 7-8, 2010

Local information during tropical storm hermine 7 8 sept 2010
Local Information during Tropical Storm Hermine(7-8 Sept 2010)

Upper Brushy Creek (Round Rock)



City of Austin

Internet communications
Internet Communications

We are all connected

Information Consumers

Information Producers

Web services can play an important role in this……

Design flows

Colorado river at austin
Colorado River at Austin

I accessed this WaterML service at 7:10AM

And got back these flow data from USGS which are up to 6:00AM Central time

Design flows


United States




Observation data services
Observation Data Services

  • Provide real-time data services

    • Streamflow, stage, precipitation

    • Independent of WaterML version

  • Feed appropriate models with forcing data

    • Land-surface models

    • HMS, RAS

River channel data services
River Channel Data Services

  • Convey inputs necessary for hydraulic models to run

    • Connectivity, length, slope, N

River channel data services1
River Channel Data Services

Design flows

IBM is collaborating with UT….

…. to help build a Smarter Planet

Design flows

Research Question: Can VLSI simulation models…..

….. be adapted to apply to river networks?

Web services hub
Web Services HUB











Web Services HUB










Flood Mapping


Data and Mapping